Books

College Prepster Book Club

I’m obviously off my normal scheduling for my book clubs. I have to be honest. Atlas Shrugged is taking me forever to get through. Partly because it’s, well, Atlas Shrugged and also partly because my subway rides in the morning have been more like a trip downtown in a sardine can. Seriously, it’s hard to read when you’re squished!! 
Well, this is a book I read this over the holidays and I really loved it.
Diary of a Stage Mother’s Daughter by Melissa Francis
Okay, so I have to admit that I’m fascinated by this whole stage mother thing. I mean, Dance Moms and Toddlers & Tiaras are basically two of my favorite shows. (Okay, and I’ve seen a number of Cheer Perfection episodes too. Sue me.)
Fortunately, the shows are generally pretty popular which makes me feel better knowing that I’m not the only one with this weird fascination.
I saw this book in Barnes & Noble (a dangerous, dangerous place for me) and knew I had to get it.
Child star.
Stage mother.
And Harvard.
Yea.
It’s a super, super quick read. But if you’ve seen every Little House on the Praire rerun, you should read this! It was very interesting to read about her experience with “stardom,” how her relationship deteriorated with her mother (and how it differed from her sister’s), and how she made a different life for herself.
I really don’t look at kids in commercials the same. Also, I feel like I should mention this as a warning, I had to really resist from buying all the other child star memoirs out there!!! Spend a few minutes clicking “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought…” section. There are tons of similar memoirs. Everyone from Maureen McCormick to Jodi Sweetin has one; terribly cheesy titles and everything.
So, this is a “guilty pleasure” kind of read, but it’s entertaining!
xoxo
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10 Comments

cairee

It seems I rarely have time for pleasure reading as well :/
A book I recently finished, although it is not new is Pledged by Alexandra Robbins. I read it once, when I was much younger, but really enjoyed re-reading it some 10 years later, or about that it seems. Non-fiction, it's an undercover expose on Greek Life. I have never been in the Panhellenic system so it was a really interesting read to me. I know you weren't in Greek life either, maybe you would enjoy it as well? The book has some bad reviews from former Sorority girls, but I think most were put off by the concept, however, when read in full it gives a pretty balanced picture, of positive and negative aspects I believe. I was in a non-Panhellenic pre-law frat, however it is a stark removal from southern Greek life! Good read if you get a chance πŸ˜‰

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Vina Smith

How ironic, I did a book-related post today too!! I love "guilty pleasure" reads, sometimes those are the best kind of books πŸ™‚

Xoxo,
Vina
theprettyinprep.blogspot.com

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Unknown

Atlas Shrugged is such an incredible book! It took me a while to read as well, but after finishing it I got sucked into some of Ayn Rand's other books (The Fountainhead and We The Living). Can't wait to hear your thoughts on Atlas Shrugged…it's really a perspective-changing book.

-Irina
http://www.chocolateatime.com

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Katie Miller

You should definitely read Julie Andrews' memoir Home. Its about her early life and definitely has a very stage parent aspect to it. So interesting though. I'll have to give this one a read.

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Katie Miller

You should definitely read Julie Andrews' memoir Home. Its about her early life and definitely has a very stage parent aspect to it. So interesting though. I'll have to give this one a read.

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Stacy AC

If you liked that, you will LOVE Alison Arngrim's memoir "Confessions of a Prairie Bitch." It was fantastic, I can't recommend it enough.

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Julia D.

Totally didn't pick up on the fact that it was a memoir until I was 3/4 of the way through the post. Just goes to show how surreal that entire lifestyle seems…that or how terrible I am at reading critically.

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Books

College Prepster Book Club

I normally post these on the 15th, but with the absolute craziness (read: SUPER excitingness) going on at work, I completely lost track of time.
[Wait. Can we discuss how we’re already halfway through the first month of 2013! I’m blown away by how amazing this year is already shaping up to be… and how fast it’s zipping on by.]

One of my goals for the year is to read Atlas Shrugged. Normally, I set a specific number of books I want to hit. Over the past few years, I’ve been above and beyond my goal of 52 books a year. Now that I’m working full-time, I still read frequently, but not nearly at the same ferocious speed as before. I used to be able to read for at least thirty minutes every morning and about an hour every night when I was at school. Now it’s a good day if I pass the thirty minute mark for reading.
Because I’m super numbers oriented and a little aggressive when it comes to goal setting (and very aggressive when it comes to goal meeting), I was really mad at myself for falling back on my pace. Every week, I was dripping more and more behind my goal.
Reading Atlas Shrugged is an amazing way to a) read a book that has been on my to-read shelf forever and b) break myself of the “must-read-one-book-per-week” mentality. So far, so good. And I truly am enjoying the book. (Plus, it’s probably the best– and creepiest– conversation starters on the subway.)
So I’ve read a few books since the last book club post, but…. I ended up pulling this one from a book I read over the summer. It’s My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares. I can’t believe that I haven’t done this book in a post yet. I loved it.
I had forgotten about it (irony?) and for some reason was thinking about it the other day. All these old feelings from when I read it came flooding back to me and I knew that I had to share it here!!
It’s just such a wonderful story. Powerful even. Maybe a little different, but great.
Let me know what you think as you read it, or what you thought if you’ve already read!!!
Now, while I continue to chug along through Atlas Shrugged, I want to get tons of recommendations for what to read next….. Ready, set… go!
xoxo

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18 Comments

chezalize

That is one of my favorite books! It's just so different and there's something beautifully haunting about it. I was hoping there'd be a sequel, but I haven't heard anything!

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kaitastrophical

I first discovered this book way back in 2011, and I love it so much. I really like Ann Brashare's adult writing. I also really like her book The Last Summer (of You and Me), and the final "adult" installment of the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants series, Sisterhood Everlasting. She's such a great writer! If you're looking for new books to read, I highly, highly recommend anything by Kate Morton.

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cziffraandi

I also love Ann Brashares, I worshiped the Sisterhood series as a teen. The Last Summer is also excellent, you should definitely read it.

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kellyshealthykitchen

The 9th Wife by Amy Stolls is by far the best book I have read in a long time. Currently I am powering through In Sunlight and in Shadow by Mark Helprin. The B&N Recommends section is where I find ALL of my books.

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sequinsandsass.com

I read Lev Grossman's "The Magicians" over Christmas and I LOVED it! Even better, it's a trilogy and Lord knows I love a good series. Give it a try if you haven't already!

xx, Eleanor

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Kate

I'm currently reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern…it's fantastic. I literally hate pulling myself away from it to do something productive, it's that entrancing. And I totally wish the circus from the title was real–it sounds amazing!

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C. M.

Completely know what you mean re: feeling weirdly guilty about spending weeks on one long book! I'm in the middle of "Far From the Tree" [http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13547504-far-from-the-tree], a nonfiction book about raising children that are "exceptional" in various ways (e.g., prodigies, deaf, schizophrenic). It's really engaging but taking many, many subway rides!

– C

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Emily

So I read this last summer and LOVED it – I read that it was originally supposed to be a trilogy but it didn't sell enough so they didn't publish the rest. I want the rest of them!

xx Emily @ laughliveandshop.blogspot.com

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Alaina

My Name is Memory is the worst book I have ever read. When I picked it up, it sounded wonderful – a love story across time and culture and memory – but it read so ludicrously that I can barely believe that I finished it. The Mexico bit with the brother was completely absurd, and the characters were, sadly, quite flat.

Atlas Shrugged, on the other hand, is a compelling, readable story that I greatly enjoyed. However, I found the philosophy a little dry.

The Night Circus is a book that I recently read. It is similar, in a way, to My Name is Memory, but it is actually good.

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Caitlinn

I just finished It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini. I really loved it! It's about a 15-year-old boy who is overwhelmed by the pressures of a tough high school, friends, etc. and ends up with severe depression. The narrator is sincere and likeable and funny, and his story was both heartbreaking and optimistic. There is also a love story tied in that is just peripheral enough to not distract from the larger and more serious picture. I definitely recommend it!

I tried reading My Name is Memory this past summer but just couldn't get through it. Maybe I'll give it another shot.

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Lisa Mitchell

I'd recommend Mary McCarthy as an author for you. The Group is about a set of Vassar Alumni making their way in New York City after graduation. Proper American classic!

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amy

Just downloaded it – thank you for the recommendation! Just finished The Expats this morning and really enjoyed it.

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Julia D.

I loved the Sisterhood books and stopped keeping track of what Ann Brashares was writing after that, but I'll have to check this one out.

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Books

College Prepster Book Club

Truth: I cannot reread books. The only book I’ve reread in its entirety is Count of Monte Cristo and it was because we read it in eighth grade Language Arts and tenth grade English class. So basically I was forced. (It does, however, remain one of my most favorite books ever.)
Rules of Civility was the first book that I really devoured on the subway rides to and from work every morning and evening. I would seriously consider leaving for work early just so I could get to reading quicker. And I always took the 6 uptown for the extra few minutes of reading at night– willingly taking a longer subway ride definitely signifies a good read.
This isn’t a book that would normally pique my interest. I base books off jacket covers, titles, and friend recommendations. (I know, I know… don’t just a book by its cover…) This book only hit one of these, which was my friend recommended it to me. I wanted to read a book about the city since I just moved and was still getting a lay of the land.
I loved it.
The references to Manhattan landmarks and street names made the book even better. One scene takes place on the exact block I live on!!!!!!! Maybe that’s lame, but it made me feel even more attached to the characters.
I’m fairly certain that I will make a tradition of reading Rules of Civility every fall!
What’s on your to-read shelf? Reading anything amazing that I should be aware of?

xoxo
PS Check out my Goodreads account!

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19 Comments

Annie

I just read Gone Girl, which if you haven't read already, you definitely should! I'm about to start reading The Hobbit with a blog friend of mine. Rules of Civility looks like a good read; I'll be putting that on my list of what to read next!

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emilialiveslife

My to-read shelf is alarmingly huge, but right now I'm looking forward to read The Hunger Games and Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking. Still don't know which one will be next! I'm definitely going to have to put Rules of Civility on my to-read list as well, I've heard so many good things about it. That's so cool there was a scene where you live! πŸ™‚

Right now I'm reading an amazing book by Bill Bryson, At Home. It details the history of how our houses came to be as they are today. It's absolutely fascinating! Bryson makes a dry history something that reads like a novel.

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Amanda

I have been soo behind on reading lately. I always say I'm going to read on the trains but then I end up listening to my iPod and occassionaly falling asleep…shameful!

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The Yuppie Files

I just finished The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. It seems everyone had read it but I'm like you- it didn't meet any of my interests. I had to read it for my work book club & its fascinating! There's a little bit of history of medical research in the U.S. but its mixed into this story about Lacks so its really interesting. I am a non-science person so the fact I really liked this book is a good sign.

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Whitney of Washington

I just started this book and I agree – it's wonderful! My Mom's book club read it and she recommended that I read it. I’m quite excited about the weekend and some uninterrupted reading time.

So glad you enjoyed it!

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Ky

This is one of my very favorite books! A friend recommended it to me last year and I absolutely devoured it!

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Stephanie

I've had my eye on this book for a while; so glad you enjoyed! I just finished reading The Great Gatsby (second time since high school, but first time not having it assigned to me), and am just in love with the beauty of the language and by how surprisingly current it still is with its portrait of socialite culture–Rules of Civility seems to be so much in the same vein, and Gatsby also takes place in New York, so maybe it'd be a fitting next choice for you!

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kelli richard

I just read "The Fault in Our Stars," by John Green, which is technically a young adult book but doesn't feel like it. It was also named the #1 new book of 2012 by the NY Times. I hope you like it, oh man, it is fabulous.

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Puppies and Pearls

I am half way through this book and I am loving it. I can see how it would be an amazing book to read while living in NYC. If you haven't ready it, you should try "Summer at Tiffany's". It isn't written especially well but it is a true story and very interesting!

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Cristina Monny

Hello everyone. Here I am going to share an interesting book with you. This is one of my favorite books. It contains very good information about diet analysis. Diet control is the main part for any human to make himself healthy and strong. So people should be very conscious about their diet. I hope this book will provide you very useful information on the topic.
Diet Analysis Plus

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Julia D.

I'm reading a book about evolution of political targeting during elections right now that I'm finding really interesting (major politics nerd!), and then I think I'll read something by Steinbeck or another classic, because those are my favourite.

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Books

College Prepster Book Club

For the first time in quite a few months, I’ve actually been reading a LOT. This makes me oh-so-happy. I was really bummed and frankly disappointed with myself because I was being lazy about scheduling time to read. (And we know, it’s important to schedule time to read!)
But, I made the commitment to get back into reading and I feel so much better. It’s not the actual number of books I read, or the number of pages… but more about the fact that reading clears my head. I get super engrossed in books, especially if they’re great. I would prefer to read a book over watching a movie or television show… hands down.
Last Sunday, even though I had a couple of blog posts to finish up, a pile of emails waiting for me, and a Prep Talk to send out… I sat in bed for a few hours finishing up a book. I literally just sat there. I woke up, reached for my Nook, and read. For hours. And it was absolutely amazing. I didn’t even need to rush off to Starbucks for my emergency Sunday morning coffee. Now that’s saying something.
While I really enjoyed reading Gone Girl (and bugging my coworkers to see how far along they were in the book), I figured a lot of people had already read it, or at the very least have it on their “to read” list. 
So, I am recommending that everyone read The Age of Miracles. Loved it. Really, really, really loved it.
(It did cause at least one major panic attack about the end of the world– but I chalk that up mostly due to the fact that I also just watched a documentary about tsunamis.)
Ooh! Let me know what you think as you read!
xoxo
PS Let me know what you’re reading, or what you’re reading next in a comment!!

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25 Comments

Amanda

I'll add that book to my list of books to read! I'm currently going back and forth between the Hobbit and Game of Thrones.

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fashfile

I just finished this per your recommendation on goodreads :)!! I loved it! Next up I'm reading The Happiness Project!
Kelly
fashfile.wordpress.com

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Alana DeWitt

Since I'm in Graduate School right now, I'm planning on doing a lot of my pleasure reading over the Winter Break. Two books on my must-read list are J.K. Rowling's new book, "A Casual Vacancy", and the classic F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby".
Love your reading recommendations!
XOXO
A
equalpartsofawhole.wordpress.com

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cziffraandi

I am reading A Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling. It's completely different from Harry Potter, but it's really good, you should check it out. I will also reread The Happiness Project and check out Gone Girl.
Andi,
scriboholic.blogspot.com

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Nikki

First of all, I love your blog. It's like my refuge when I'm lacking in motivation. I'm so behind in my studies at the moment and am in panic mode because I'm terrible at time management, I'm a very slow reader, so I visit sometimes to find tips, which help me a lot πŸ™‚ thank you!

Second of all, I'm reading The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey. I'm not far in and so far it's quite depressing, but depressing in a really beautiful way. I'd definitely recommend it, though don't blame me if it goes down hill past the third chapter, like I said, I'm a slow reader πŸ™‚

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Ellie

I've been feeling badly about not reading lately. I just ordered $70 worth of gifts from Amazon yesterday…and $50 in books for me. And that's lots of used (aka cheap) books so I'm excited for a pile of reading to come in the mail next week! I can't wait to finally read "Bossypants" by Tina Fey and "The Runaway Princess" by Hester Brown (love her!). I also got some coffee table books to beef up my collection: "The Dangerous Book for Girls", Recipes for Parties", and "Sips and Apps"

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Lauren Cipoletti

I always love having a new good book recommendation, and I love when TCP Bookclub recommends a new one!

The book I am currently reading (and recommending) is Signposts in a Strange Land by Walker Percy. He is one of my favorite authors; if you haven't read him I would say check him out! His books are very satisfying and thought provoking.

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Alyssa Jane

I just read The Language of Flowers. My mother gave it to me and said she thought I may like it. I just left it on the shelf for a good 2 months. But three days ago I picked it up and read it in one sitting!

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Taylor

I'm currently reading "Womans Best Friend: Women writers on the dogs in their lives." I can't wait to read The Age of Miracles!

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the.new.me

Hey Carly!

What are your recommendations for best nonfiction novels? I'm currently reading In Cold Blood (which I love) and have to read 2 more this semester. i know that anything you suggest will most definitely be worth my while!

Thanks!

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Sara Estis

Have you read any Erik Larson books? It's the strong narrative non-fiction style that Capote is all about. Larson's newer books are stronger, but they're all fantastic – I highly recommend them.

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Julia D.

"It's not the actual number of books I read, or the number of pages… but more about the fact that reading clears my head." You hit the nail right on the head with that one. That was exactly why I started making time to read too. Right now, its "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed, which I would highly recommend.

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tribevegan14

I just finished this. It was really strange to be taken back to all the typical middle school stuff and then see that mixed with the world pretty much ending. I liked it! Gone girl was def one of those cant put down type of books!

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Lisa Mitchell

I'm reading Victory Lab at the minute. Its about how political campaigns have gotten smart with using data. My friend has loaned me Life of Pi to read next though and I have North and South by Elizabeth Gaitskill to read over Christmas

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Lisa Mitchell

I'm reading Victory Lab at the minute. Its about how political campaigns have gotten smart with using data. My friend has loaned me Life of Pi to read next though and I have North and South by Elizabeth Gaitskill to read over Christmas

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Sara Estis

I just finished this a few weeks ago and really really enjoyed! I'm currently reading The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian and it's good so far! I too love GoodReads and loved participating in their reading challenge this year – and can't wait to set a new goal for 2013!

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Jordan Price

I'm switching back and forth between Anne Rice's Interview With the Vampire and the Game of Thrones series right now. Both are amazing. πŸ™‚ Also, I just finished reading the Fallen series by Lauren Kate. I loved it!

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Books

College Prepster Book Club

My reading progress has slowed… again. But, the good news is that I’ve been writing a lot more!!! I’ve been tracking my books read for the year on Goodreads and watching my “pace” fall more and more behind my goal is seriously distracting me. I’ve decided that I am going to enjoy reading… and read as much as I can… regardless of whether or not I make that stupid goal.
I have been reading some really great books though and I’m super excited to share this one with you.
It. Rocks.
20 Something 20 Everything
by Christine Hassler
First of all… I’m obsessed with Christine Hassler. I am not exaggerating here. She is seriously the best. She came to the Levo League office a month or so ago and I was completely sold on absolutely everything she said. She has the BEST advice. Hands down.
the levo team with Christine!
After meeting her, I knew I had to read her first book… It’s kind of a self help book, but I promise it’s not weird! I skimmed a few chapters that didn’t exactly apply to me, but if there’s an area in your life (anything from finances to independence to friendships to relationships), this book will help you sort it out.
I kept having “ah-ha” moments the whole time I was reading. (I am convinced some of the chapters were literally written for me!)
Let me know if you’ve read it or plan on reading it! I’m super interested to hear what you thought about it!
xoxo

PS Check out this video interview with Christine!

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9 Comments

Amanda Wasmer

I'm reading her other book, 20 Something Manifesto, right now, and I'm absolutely IN LOVE. It's exactly the kind of message I needed at this point in my life. I'll have to be sure to read this one after I finish!

20somethingambition.blogspot.com

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The Yuppie Files

Wish this book was around when I had just graduated! I feel like there was a real lack of useful books & advice when I needed it 7 years ago & glad to see that's changing.

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Books, Beauty, and Bars on a Budget

My roommate is reading this, and I'm borrowing it from her after! I can't wait to read it, I am seriously needing some direction/advice before I graduate!

Be sure to head over to my blog to enter my Southernly Stated giveaway! πŸ™‚

booksbeautyandbars.blogspot.com

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Kitty Kulturschock

Just ordered this book about a week ago for a great deal! Unfortunately, it's only available in english but that's not a problem for me… I started out with this book a few days ago and I am in LOVE with it! Thank you so much, Carly, for this book πŸ™‚ Just made a girl from Germany very happy!

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Books

College Prepster Book Club

If I were to be honest with you, I’d tell you that I’m so disappointed in my lack of reading!!! Ugh. I feel like I’m still trying to figure my schedule and routine out here in New York. (Um, I’ve almost been here an entire month! When did that happen???)
I’ve realized that reading during the day is just not going to happen. And I’m choosing to sleep instead of read to maintain my sanity. But… I had my mom send up my Nook from home and I’ve been reading on the train to work. As long as I leave my apartment before 7 AM, I can sit on the train and read. (Any later and I’m squished in with 60 of my not-so-closest friends.) 
I’m reading at a much slower pace than I’m used to, but very very very happy to be getting back into some good books.
This month’s book is Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.
It was recommended to me by Amanda months ago. I finally got around to reading it. It was pretty interesting! I have some weird theories about education and specifically issues with the education system, so it was refreshing to read something that said, “Yes… there are some issues.” The other examples were interesting as well!
I think I’m going to put Gladwell’s other books on my reading list now. Have you read Outliers or the other books? Thoughts?
xoxo

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17 Comments

The Modern Prepster

Its been difficult for me to find time to read also! The book looks really interesting, have you ever read Angels and Demons or The Da Vincie Code by Dan Brown? Amazing, and the second is set in France. It's a win win! xx

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lovealamodeblog.com

My internship supervisor (A Senior VP of a big company) told me if she had one piece of advice for me it would be to read this book! It just arrived from Amazon so I'm looking forward to getting into it. I also ordered one of his other books that sounded interesting too πŸ™‚

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The Cardinal Planner

Yesss, I have read Outliers! It was required reading for incoming freshmen at my college and I'm so glad it was because it is now one of my favorite books. Very intellectually engaging and thought-provoking. It's really great for discussions πŸ™‚ Haven't read Gladwell's other books, but I'm definitely interested in checking them out…

-Erika
http://www.thecardinalplanner.com

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Megan

I have been so slack with reading lately, choosing to watch tv shows because its easier, so naughty. I have just started Shantaram though as so many people have told me it is the best book they ever read, so far I love it.

I havent read any of these books but will have to put them on my list.

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Hanny

Yeah I've been thinking of getting a nook or kindle, even I love holding a book, it seems to be more convenient when I'm traveling and less heavy. I'm currently reading Chopin by George Marek and also Lunch in Paris.

My co worker read Outliers and loved it. I'm thinking of putting that on my book list.

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Hannah Kate

This is one of my favorite books! I love the concept of 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert. It takes great patience and endurance, not necessarily skill to be great. πŸ™‚

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Leslie

I've read Outliers and The Tipping Point. Of the two of those, I liked Outliers the best but would highly recommend reading The Tipping Point as well. You can also find books that are written as rebuttals to Gladwell's work. Those are always interesting.

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Kimberly N

I love this book! As well as all of Gladwell's works. I would reccomend the Feakonomics books (there are two) as well as the podcast. They are great to listen to on the train (espically if its crowded and you are unable to read!)

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highheelsandcrosswords

Blink is incredibly interesting as well- its about how our brain thinks unconsciously.
And of course Tipping Point and Outliers are both great books! All of Malcolm Gladwell work is worth reading.

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Laura S.

My senior year of high school I took AP Statistics. My teacher recommended this book to us, and I absolutely loved it. I really want to read some of the other books by Gladwell.

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Julia

The Outliners is definitely one of my top 5 favorite books! The Tipping Point is also a good one, which was recommended by my professor back in my college business class.

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Bri

I second the recommendation of Blink and The Tipping Point. If you like his writing style and are looking for something entertaining, What The Dog Saw is fun too. Loved reading it. I also love Gabriel GarcΓ¬a Marquez. Anything I've read of his has been beautiful… I love reading, so I could go on and on…

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Heather

I've read Blink, Outliers, and The Tipping Point by Gladwell. I liked all of them. I would highly recommend Tipping Point to you as it is all about social connection and how ideas spread. It should be required reading for any blogger or social marketer!

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Julia D.

I totally get where you're coming from. For me, setting aside time to read every day is so important to my sanity, but finding the time to do it in my new schedule is very difficult even though that is when I need it the most. Cue vicious cycle. I'm looking forward to giving this book a try, when I have the chance. Thanks for the suggestion!

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ginastorm

Just finished 'The Tipping Point' and while I liked the book, I had trouble finishing it. It read like a textbook sometimes, but I did learn a lot from the book.

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Books

College Prepster Book Club

Because of this book club, publishers often send me books to read. Nine times out of ten, the books either don’t interest me enough to have them even sent to me and most of the time I give up half way through.
I was SO intrigued when I was sent Penelope by Rebecca Harrington. She’s the college editor for the Huffington Post and a graduate of Harvard. The book definitely falls under the young adult category, but you shouldn’t consider that a bad thing in this case.
There were so many cringe-worthy passages because Penelope, the main character, is painfully awkward. I mean, she might as well be the definition of awkward!!!
The beginning was really difficult for me to read, honestly, because it brought back so many memories of those first few weeks of college. Georgetown is definitely not Harvard, but I think my experiences (with friends, choosing classes, dealing with dorm situations, learning what “pre-gaming” was) were quite aligned with Penelope’s. It brought back memories that I had sort of filed away under “No need to revisit” and, of course, were revisited while reading this book.
If you are looking for one more book to finish off your summer reading list, consider Penelope!
xoxo

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15 Comments

Erin

This sounds like a great book! Might have to get my hands on it soon! If you get a sec, I'd love to hear your thoughts on my latest posts!

peacelovedecor.com

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emilialiveslife

Thanks for the review! I just saw this book at the bookstore the other day and was really interested, definitely going to read before the summer ends πŸ™‚
Another good book that I'm reading right now is Ten Girls to Watch by Charity Shumway. It's about the transition to life after university, I'm always excited to find books covering that period of time!

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Bailey

It sounds good, but I'm not sure if I can re-visit my painful memories from my first weeks of college. Anyways, this book will be on my reading list.

Bailey
baileys-college-life.blogspot.com

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Vicky

I'm definitelty putting this book on my to-read list πŸ™‚
Thank you for the post !

Love
Vicky
cottoncandychronicles.blogspot.be

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TCP

College Prepster Book Club

Did anyone else make it a goal to read more during the summer? We’re more than halfway through the summer… have you kept up with your goal?
I, for one, have not been all that great at keeping up with my reading! In past summers, I’ve spent full days lounging around with an amazing book. But this summer has been busier than usual and reading has taken a backseat. I’m actually right in the middle of two rather long books and I have one I need for a review. Here’s the thing though, I truly love reading. But I’m making myself crazy with my “reading goal” for the year. Last year I read almost 70 books and I’m so far behind that pace that I feel bad about reading.
Oh, the joys of being a competitive numbers-oriented person.
The good news though is that this is a super short book JAM-PACKED with great life stuff. I will admit that I’m a super skeptical person. I went into this book with my guard up. However, I loved it. Absolutely loved it. And believe it!!!
If nothing else, it changes your attitude about how you approach uncontrollable life events.
by Chris Prentiss
(Sporty Sister and Soccer Mom loved it too!)
xoxo

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8 Comments

Lisa

Dear CollegePrepster,

thank you for introducing me to Goodreads. It is so amazing. I started my Goodreads account some weeks ago and it really motivates me to read more – especially now during summer vacation where I have a lot of time. The page is perfect for me as I am – like you – "a competitive numbers-oriented person".

Thanks!
By the way: Are we supposed to follow you on Goodreads or become friends with you?

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Denise

I don't read nearly as much I had when I was younger or as much as I should. It's orientation season around here, so reading during summer seems more like a chore than pleasurable. After a day or week of helping first year students put together a schedule and connect them with needed resources, I usually collapse into bed. However, when the Fifty Shades of Grey hubbub started, I had no idea what the book was about and never thought to look it up on the internet. My boss said she was on book 2, so I asked to borrow her book 1 – just an easy read to try to get me to start reading again. Well, the other night I was in the shower and my husband came in and started reading a couple of paragraphs and it was so hilariously uncomfortable – but since I was in the shower, I had no place to go. I guess I'll still read it and hopefully my eyes won't too traumatized to get back into reading. I'm a big Margaret Atwood fan and in the past I've been a reader of the classics. I realized there are so many "must read" books that haven't been published in the past 30 years. I really need to temper that with more contemporary reads, though.

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Megan G.

I've needed some zen in my life lately, so I think I'll try to pick this up when I'm done with the book I'm reading now! Summer is a great time to read everything, and I love hearing about what other people are reading. πŸ™‚

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Julia D.

I'm a huge reader. Like you, I made it a goal to read more this summer as well simply because I get so much enjoyment out of it. I went through books much more quickly earlier in the summer, but have slowed down a bit recently due to being busier. Thanks for the reminder! I'll have to add this book to my list.

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Books

College Prepster Book Club

I’m always blown away when the 15th rolls around… this past month has absolutely flown by! I almost didn’t believe that it was time for another book club selection here.
I haven’t had as much time to read as I’d like. At school it was much easier, because I’d read every morning during breakfast and during dinner. But I’ve been trying to schedule/find time to get a few pages of reading in every day. I finally made it to the library here which is going to be a good motivator to get back into the habit of reading. (I really think libraries are the best things ever…. FREE BOOKS!!!!)
Every time I was ready to go to the library, I would either get distracted or it would be closed or I didn’t have access to a car to driver over.
This got me pretty desperate to find a book to read… I ended up perusing my own mini-library. (Which mostly consists of some of my favorite books and many, many, many “required reading” books from high school.) I found an old copy of Pride and Prejudice and decided to read it since I haven’t read it in forever… Sophomore year of high school was a long time ago…

I must say, I really enjoyed it a lot more than I did as a sophomore. Memorizing motifs, character names, and vocabulary really ruins the enjoyment of books. I never liked reading in high school because I was way too concerned with how I could use the novels in AP Literature essay questions rather than simply reading (and enjoying) books.
When was the last time you picked up Pride and Prejudice?
xoxo
PS Don’t forget, you can read along with me by friending me on Goodreads!

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11 Comments

Laura

I actually just picked up Pride and Prejudice last week from the library because I never read it in high school. I thought I would love it but I couldn't get into it and ended up starting another book instead. I do agree though that it's so much more fun to read for pleasure than for class!

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lizena

My favorite book! Everyone knows that I love it, even those who have never heard of it! πŸ™‚ Though its true that all the analytical stuff we do in Lit class somehow ruins the fun, but I just did a research project into Jane Austen and how her life influenced her works and found that when I'm working on something I'm passionate about I enjoy the process a lot more!

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Mackenzie {Design Darling}

I just finished it for the second time! I'm reading all six Austen novels for my 101 in 1001 list but after I finish one I need a little break before starting the next. Definitely a tougher read than my usual fluffy beach books!

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Anna H

LOVE P&P. I keep trying to read all 6 Austen books and I haven't made it yet, but I always pick this one up first so I've read it so many times. I think I just relate to Elizabeth – and Mr Darcy is my favorite of the Austen men!

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Vanessa

I listened to it on audiobook, and the reader had a British accent, so after my 6 hour car ride with Pride and Prejudice on I was thinking in a British accent! It was the strangest thing. But I did like the book a lot!

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Chelsea Kabelsy

Fantastic book, but my favourite Austen novel is Persuasion. If you haven't yet read it, I totally recommend it! It's not as light hearted as P&P; it's a lot more melancholy. You can feel the heartbreak in every word that's written. And the letter at the end – the best love letter written! It's simply beautiful.

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Ashley N Fried

This is my favorite Jane Austen novel. I read it every year and collect different publications of it. What is amazing to me is how relevant this story is to modern women – trying to stay true to your heart. I'm glad you were able to enjoy it the second time around. If you haven't seen the BBC version starring Colin Firth, you totally should! It has the best Elizabeth and Darcy and my favorite Mr. & Mrs. Bennett. πŸ™‚

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Maria

I just read this book for the first time for my summer class. I absolutely loved it! We then had to compare and contrast it to Pride, Prejudice and Zombies. It was so much fun!

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Julia D.

"Pride and Prejudice" is one of my favourites as well. I also read it in high school as a required book and have yet to read it since, unfortunately. You're right about reading the same book for pleasure being different than reading it because it is required. Something about HAVING to do something and really analyze it rather than actually enjoy it for what it is, a brilliant novel, can take the fun out of even the best book.

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TCP

College Prepster Book Club

So…. did anyone read L.A. Candy? I definitely just finished the second in the series! I’m not sure why I’m so hooked on the books. I think Lauren Conrad is super great. She’s done some amazing things from her time on “Laguna Beach.” Isn’t it crazy to think that we were “introduced” to her back when she was in high school? I remember when the show first started and we’d all sit around the table during lunch discussing how old the girls and guys looked on the show and how we felt so young! Nuts.
I’m already looking forward to reading the third (and sadly last) book in the series.
Okay… so what’s next on the plate for College Prep Book Clubbers?
The Curse of the Good Girl
by Rachel Simmons
I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this on here before, but when I go to the library I pull books from different “rooms.” This means that I end up with a variety of books. I picked this one up randomly, but ended up getting a lot out of it. It’s written for mothers in particular, but as a girl, there is some majorly valuable advice! As I was reading,   I kept saying to myself, “Uh oh… I do this… Whoops! Gotta fix that. Wow, didn’t think of it that way…” 
Even though it’s non-fiction and seems like it would be a dense read, it’s actually pretty do-able. (I skipped all the mother-daughter workshops so that helps speed things along.)
xoxo

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10 Comments

Ana

I love those book! I finished the series!!! I heard they are trying to turn the books into a movie!!!!!

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cecigirl

I can't tell from your comments if you've realized, but all of Ms. Conrad's novels, in addition to most of those lately penned by celebrities, are ghostwritten by other writers (it seems publishing young adult novels is the newest version of the celebrity fragrance). "L.C." most likely did little other than approve the cover image and pose for pictures at book signings. This has no bearing on whether or not the book is any good (I haven't read it), but I thought I might offer that tidbit.

However, your latest pick is interesting–I read a review about Rachel Simmons' latest offering and thought to give it a try. If you enjoy this type of read, I'd also offer the recommendation of Jessica Valenti's The Purity Myth. It's a really fascinating, well-written, and well-researched book–your readers may enjoy it. http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4914761-the-purity-myth

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Grace

That book sounds really interesting! Definitely going to try to pick this one up once I'm out for the summer. πŸ™‚

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Erica {A Sooner Sweetheart}

@cecigirl I am pretty sure she wrote the books, But people like the Kardashion's we know didn't write a word of theirs. I thought they were cute books. It's based around The Hills in away. What these books are about, I am pretty sure she did a lot more than most celebrities put into books.

She also has ones called The Fame Game is another series that she wrote, that just came out, about a month ago. Some people in the light can do more than pose for pictures. I remember talking about Laguna Beach at lunch in high school that was my Freshmen year. We had a guy at my high school that looked like Stephen. Lauren used being on that show and helped her get into doing things that she had interest in Fashion begin the main focus. She seems like she can do more than put her name on something for a check, if you put your name on something you should make sure its something you would like to have your name on. Some people you can tell that they don't use the product.

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Alyssa

Rachel SImmons is a fantastic writer! I really liked Odd Girl Out and Odd Girl Speaks Out so I will definitely be checking out this read! Thanks for sharing!!

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Lindsey Fast

I totally wish I would have known about the book club sooner! I've been wanting to get into one but couldn't find one that read the books that I find interesting- so thanks for doing and sharing this! I'm definitely keeping up with this πŸ™‚

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raina

I'm actually reading LC's book now. It's starting off pretty good. πŸ™‚ I also just finished twenty something twenty everything. Very good read! Ok gn! Its like 2am here on the east coast! πŸ™‚

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Books

College Prepster Book Club

What did you guys think of The Happiness Project??? I really liked it. I thought that the way the book was set up (focusing on one thing each month) was really good. I could have done without the blog comments from her readers, but that was the only thing that I didn’t like.
Of course, with all “self help” genre books, you kind have to pick and choose what works for you and what doesn’t. Since it was also a memoir, there were specific tasks and goals that didn’t fit with me. (For example, I’m not married and I don’t have kids…) But, the messages and overall goals can be applied quite universally.
Let me know what you think in the comments!
This month:
Okay, so when I pick out books at the Georgetown public library I like to pick out a book from each “room.” Picking out a book from the young adult fiction room is definitely my guilty pleasure. I recently pulled L.A. Candy by Lauren Conrad and I loved it. It’s obviously not going to win any awards, but I liked it for what it is πŸ˜‰
(I also plan on checking out the rest of the series!)
xoxo

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13 Comments

Kaitlyn Sykes

I LOVED The Happiness Project! Gretchen really inspired me to try a similar project in my own life, which I think I will try this summer once university's done for the year. I also love that she is so approachable- her blog and website is so interactive and she actually emailed me copies of templates she used in making her own project. So cool!!!

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Caroline

I've read Lauren Conrad's books. They're fun, quick reads and really interesting to read what it was like for her to film the show!

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emilialiveslife

I loved The Happiness Project. Although I've definitely found some of the advice not too applicable, many of the tips she suggests have made a significant impact on my happiness. My favorite? The one minute rule!

I've already read L.A. Candy, young adult fiction is definitely a guilty pleasure of mine, and have to say, I kind of loved it. Fun, light and amusing it's a nice quick read. Cool to know that there are other people who enjoyed them! πŸ™‚

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Sarah Walsh

I've always enjoyed seeing what books your book club is reading, but I had never started reading them for myself. The other day when I was leaving my college's library, I saw The Happiness Project and remembered that it was part of The College Prepster book club. I started reading and have hardly been able to put it down. I agree that some of her tips aren't as applicable, but overall, I feel like I've been put into a better frame of mind because of it! Long story short, your pick really made my week better πŸ™‚

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South Carolina Belle

I love the L.A. Candy books! I agree with Melissa they are the perfect beach or vacation read! I just picked up her newest one the other day! I can't wait to read it! Enjoy!

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Ky

I love switching up genres!! I read the whole L.a. Candy series and they are all really fun reads!

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Ky

I love switching up genres!! I read the whole L.a. Candy series and they are all really fun reads!

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Megan

I love the L.A. Candy series! They are great beach reads to take your mind off of reality. It was interesting to try and see how it "matched" up to actual drama that happened on The Hills.

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raina

I Have to say I haven't read this yet but as a huge lover of chick lit I will, I has placed it in my bookcase. I'll probably tackle it after I finish Sisterhood forever. Which I must say I am pleasantly surprised that I like. I almost can't put it down. πŸ™‚

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Books

College Prepster Book Club

I just realized that I put all the books I read over spring break in Sunday’s posts.  I wanted to make The Opposite of Me the book club book this month, but I thought that might be a little bit of a rip-off considering it was on the blog a few days ago!!!
(With that said, I still highly recommend The Opposite of Me.  I really enjoyed it!)
And because I’ve shared all my recent readings, I’m doing something a little different.  I’m currently reading a book, but I’m choosing the NEXT book on my list as the book club choice for now!  We can read it together!!!  Normally, I like to recommend a book I’ve already read and liked (so I don’t look like an idiot if the book turns out to be a terrible read)… so this is going to be a gamble!

The Happiness Project
by Gretchen Ruben
I go through self-help book phases…. sometimes I’m all about them and sometimes I would rather not see one for the rest of my life.  But, I think this isn’t as “preachy” as far as self-help books go?  Maybe I’m completely wrong here…
We’re about to find out!
What books have you read recently that I should put on my to-read list?
xoxo
PS You can keep track of all my reading on Good Reads account!

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13 Comments

Kaitlyn Sykes

I read this book on MY spring break and I thought it was fantastic!!! Can't wait to see what you think. I definitely thought it was less preachy and self-absorbed as many self-help books seem.

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Becky

A ton of people seem to be reading this right now. My mom just bought this book, so I'm definitely going to steal it from her as soon as she finishes it.

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Your Plucky Picaroon

Our book club recently read "The Blue Castle" by L.M. Montgomery. It's not very "Anne of Green Gables"-y, but it's a fun look at taking risks, following your heart, and going against the grain. …if you like that sort of thing. πŸ™‚

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Amanda May

I started reading this a few days before you posted! I picked it up in airport bookstore before a flight. So far, I love it! Some of the stuff doesn't really apply to me, like the stuff about marriage or children, but a lot of the material has really got me thinking! Immediately after I returned from the trip where I started the book, I went into a cleaning frenzy in my apartment due to one of the chapters. Good choice!

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Books

College Prepster Book Club

I think I underestimated the amount of work that I would have for my classes this semester.  It’s not completely unmanageable, but on top of College Prep & Sweet Lemon (and not to mention those trips to NYC), I’m not spending as much time reading.
Well, correction… I read a LOT…. but it’s mostly boring textbooks and HBS cases.
I’ve worked my way through four books this year, which is definitely behind my book-per-week goal, but that is okay.  I’m getting my schoolwork done, which right now is the most important thing.
The Sun Also Rises
Ernest Hemingway
I chose this book while in the library because I remember so not enjoying having to read Hemingway in high school.  I really actually hated any required reading during high school.  (Except for The Count of Monte Cristo, but technically I first read it in middle school.)
I picked it up because it’s not something I would normally read for “pleasure,” and I wanted to see if I really shouldn’t have rebelled against high school English teachers.
(Surprise, I ended up breezing through it!)
xoxo

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4 Comments

Books

College Prepster Book Club

The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth
by Alexandra Robbins
(Robbins is also the author of The Overachievers.)
This book really spoke to me.  Not a day goes by where I think to myself, “I’m really weird.”  Like, I know that I am very very very strange.  I don’t think like a lot of people, I have different (off the wall) opinions, I don’t like normal things that college students should like.
It’s always bothered me that I’m not “normal.”  I was a mathlete (and loved every minute of it) during middle school.  I had a small, close group of friends in high school…. but I had very cliche High School Movie moments.  I won’t get into the details of some of the things my classmates did, but trust me… it wasn’t pretty.
 I felt so connected to a lot of the characters in the book for one reason or another.  I don’t think I could have read it at a better time, however.  I think it would have given me a bit of relief had I read it in high school, but I was more or less satisfied then.
But now…  I’m not on the rowing team anymore.  The only thing I miss, frankly, is having people to eat meals with from the team.  It’s also made me reevaluate what kind of energy I want to put into “friendships.”  I think my current friendships have been strained and tested.  Especially with Little V not on campus with me, I feel a little isolated.
This is not to say I don’t have friends, because I do.  But only in the sense that I can find people to talk to in my classes and I’m not scrambling to form groups with strangers for projects.  I don’t have close enough friends to sit with in the dining hall, for instance.  I’m not signing up for senior disorientation because I don’t have a close enough friend group.  It’s weird, and yea, a little sad.
After reading The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth, however, I feel more comfortable to reach out to new people as friends and I also feel more comfortable with the label of quirky.
Anyway, the book is great for geeks, nerds, artsy people, (fill in with any social “label”), and even popular kids.  Parents, teachers, and really any member of society would benefit from the book!
xoxo

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10 Comments

Anne

Hey Carly-
I can completely relate! I'm a junior in college, and I don't really have a close-knit group or a "best friend" that I really connect with. I'm worried I'll look back on my college years and regret that I had a different kind of experience than most. But then I remember that that's just "me"– I've always been one to bury myself in the books rather than pursue a social life. I'll definitely be checking out the book!

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Meg

Carly, I just happened to check your blog tonight, and I really appreciate this post. After transferring colleges and having a great first year, I'm really struggling with friendships in my final year of college. I have a few wonderful, close friends, but this year, after breaking up with my boyfriend and losing friends to study abroad programs and the real world, I feel excluded and isolated from my own group (basically my version of your crew). Thank you for being so honest in this post – I had a pretty awful day yesterday, but knowing that I'm not the only one who hasn't had a "perfect" college experience definitely makes things better.

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chunkymonkey

It's funny, reading through some of your posts and seeing all the big strides you made in your recent projects had me thinking "my gosh – this girl really has it all together, it must be so easy for her to forge these new connections, network, and make lots of good friends!" I've struggled my entire life with the same thing, feeling "different," and assuming that everyone who seemed to have it together never felt the same way.
It really is comforting to know I'm not alone. Also, it's amazing that you put it right out there – personally, I'm too scared to let anyone know that I may be lonely sometimes. You truly are an inspiration!

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M

I don't think you could have been this post at a more perfect time! I have been feeling the same way this year at school. It's nice to know that someone who seems so happy and successful like you still struggles with the same things I do! I have friends at school that I hang out with, but sometimes I feel like I am so different from everyone else. Thanks for writing this post…it makes me realize I'm not alone!

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theyuppiefiles

My suggestion – join a club. One that doesn't take up as much time as your rowing. I think its hard to find a group of friends randomly at any point in college- I know few people who are still close to the random people they lived with freshman year.

My best friends are all from a college club I joined my freshman year. I was very shy and somehow it seems more manageable and less scary when you're in a group that at least has 1 thing in common. It's also helped me meet new people once I was done w/college, which is a whole other ordeal of meeting people!

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Blair

Carly,

I totally resonate with what you are saying. I too am in my senior year at college, and am finding that I have less friends friends.I have always been a bit different (nerd is an under description for me) Most of my friends were older than me and have now left campus. I feel bad because my weekends are not nearly as busy as they were during my earlier years. I have friends but they are more let's go get lunch friends and catch up then let's go out at night friends. It's nice to know I'm not alone!

~Blair

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Elena

This blog post really hit home to me because a couple of years ago I cut off my best friend. There was a toxic relationship between us and I just couldn't take it anymore. After that I had a string of bad friends and never found another best friend figure in my life. It's been incredibly difficult to find a close knit group of friends since then so I know exactly how you feel! I think I am going to read this book because I can definitely resonate with it. I also was not exactly the prom queen in high school and had a little bit of a hard time during those four years of my life. I am glad to not be the only person to feel this way πŸ™‚

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raina

Totally understand! I am transfer student (junior) at a new college and I have not really gotten to know many people yet. So isolation has become the new pink for me, since I wear it everyday now. Not to mention the workload is ridiculous, I don't know if I'll ever have a moment to socialize ( this is especially thanks to your motivating message about formin good academic habits) πŸ™‚

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Anonymous

Hey, I feel the same way to most of the time. Although I have a small group of friends that I can go to, but we practically don't discuss much things apart from school work. Also, it's kind of hard to hang out together due to different class timings. Well, I think I would probably sound weird but sometimes I really enjoy being alone because I feel I get more accomplished and I feel "free-er" because I can be more spontaneous.

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TCP

College Prepster Book Club

One of my 2011 goals was to read every day.  I’m proud to report that I have been doing SO much reading!!!  Little V and I read every night before going to sleep.  It’s a great way to wind down before falling asleep.  It also gives me incentive to not procrastinate so I can finish my work quickly and pick my book back up!
With my newfound enjoyment in reading, I thought I’d set up a book club where we can all read the same book and then blog about it and share the experience!
This first month will be a little bit of a test… we’ll see how it goes!
I chose Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman.
I will be writing my review of the novel on the 14th of May and announcing the next book on the 15th!  Until May 14th, I’ll be adding discussion questions to the College Prepster Facebook discussion board.
I also encourage you to post your review on your blog.  Once you’ve reviewed and published your post, come back here and add you link using the tool below!
I’m really excited about this!!!  I love reading and I can’t wait to begin this book and hear what you all think!
xoxo 

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19 Comments

Kaitlyn

I am SO excited to participate in this and can't wait to get started! Thanks so much for creating this. I LOVE reading and LOVE College Prep so it's the perfect combo!

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life-love-laughter

Carly, you're such a little genuis… always coming up with the best ideas πŸ™‚ I always LOVE reading but don't do enough of it, so this just might be a perfect way to get me to do so!

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Katy Z

I am definitely participating, I LOVE to read and love discussing with people. Looking forward to this first one!

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sSe

This is such a great idea. I always want to and plan to read, but never can find the incentive to do so. This is perfect though, and I can't wait to start!

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ak

this is a great book, i loved it-didn't want it to end! i'm sure everyone will enjoy this one.

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Adair

It is a great book! You will fly through it… or maybe I just didn't put it down. Anyways it was fabulous!

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Brown Girl

Thank you for this wonderful idea Carly :)) I'm going to pick up a copy of the book today. Can't wait to get started!!

xo BG

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